Cebu. Heard of it? I have to confess, I hadn’t either, at least not before a friend recommended it as a must-see spot on my jaunt to the Philippines. This is one of the most livable cities in the country, and as such, I am a little bit ashamed to say that I hadn’t heard of it before my friend’s recommendation! Now that I have been, of course, I love it. It’s definitely not as crowded or polluted as Manila, and the cost of living in the city is generally more affordable than most other parts of the Philippines. Cebu is known for its beautiful islands, beaches, incredible resorts, scuba diving, and the overall history of the land. No matter what you do when you visit the Philippines, take some time in Manila, sure, but be sure to take some time in Cebu as well, to take a look at the ‘Queen City of the South’. I know that when I’m traveling the focus seems to be a lot on the beaches, and you have to dig a little to find anything that’s not quite as cool or sexy as lounging poolside. I mean, there’s only so much beach you can take? Right?? Well, no. But anyway, let’s take a look at four things to do when you’re too sunburnt to sit by the water any longer, brought to you by Travezl.
Fort San Pedro
Cebu is a city with a rich history. A trip to Cebu would not be complete without a history lesson, starting with your trip to Fort San Pedro. The work on the fort was first started by Spanish and indigenous Cebuano in 1565 under the command of Miguel López de Legazpi. The fort houses some incredible Spanish artifacts, including paintings, documents, and sculptures, which depict the Spanish settlement in the Philippines at the time. If you are interested in the history of the Philippines at all, I highly recommend that you take a trip to Fort San Pedro. Here you will learn more about the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, as well as about the indigenous Cebuanos.
Basílica del Santo Niño
While you are in the area visiting Fort San Pedro, why not take a trip to the Basilica del Santo Niño, commonly known as the Santo Niño Church. This is considered to be the oldest Roman Catholic church in the country, and it was built on the spot where the image of the Santo Niño de Cebu was thought to have been seen in 1565. This was again orchestrated by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, who was leading an expedition of Spanish explorers. In 2013 on October 15th, the church was damaged during a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the area. It underwent repair and renovation that preserved the structure of the church, and it is happily in good condition again now.
Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
I know, I know, again with another Catholic church, but there are plenty of these to see in Cebu! Also in the same area near Fort San Pedro, the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, this is the ecclesiastical seat of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cebu. This cathedral was first built in 1689 and had to be rebuilt and restored in 1950 after it was almost destroyed by fire and attacks on the area during World War Two.
Want to take a walk down a street named for a very famous explorer? But who on earth is an explorer named ‘Colon’? You may not know his name to be Cristobal Colon, but this street was created during the Spanish Colonization of the Philippines and is named for Christopher Columbus! It is the oldest Street in the Philippines and here you will find plenty of markets, stalls, and many places to shop and enjoy the local scene. It is very touristy so be aware of this – but soak up the ambiance of strolling down the street.
There are plenty of stalls and restaurants to satisfy your cravings for Philippines cuisine while you’re in Cebu and plenty of attractions to quench your thirst for history, so don’t spend all of your time lazing by the beach!
About the Author
At Travezl, we pride ourselves on sourcing and categorizing all the exciting, interesting and best things to do around the world. Travezl makes it easy and simple for you to find and book your desired activities all in a one stop shop so that you can spend more time exploring your favorite cities.